It’s just about that time to finish up those business taxes – and you may really only be a few hours away if you are filing by March 15th. If your taxes are finished, pat yourself on the back and go back to reading fun, light-hearted blogs. But, for those still crunching the numbers, forge ahead and read some helpful tax tips that may have you feeling a little better about that looming deadline and the unknowns surrounding those final digits.
Here are a few last minute tax tips for SMBs:
- Double check your deductions. Some frequently overlooked deductions (some, which were recently simplified) include mileage, home office space, and retirement contributions. While your deductions must meet the requirements to qualify for the deductions and they must be properly calculated, explore the options with your accountant. This discussion will ensure you are taking advantage of qualifying deductions and not leaving any of your hard earned cash on the table.
- Review small business tax updates. Since the tax code is constantly changing and there are updates from year-to-year, be sure to review the newest changes for 2017. The new changes may have implications on how you calculate your business numbers and/or specific deductions. For instance, recent changes in past years included a simplified method for calculating your home office deduction ($5 per square foot up to 300 feet for qualifying spaces). However, using the old method may save you more money and that calculation is still accepted. Either way, understand the changes and explore them when they make sense. Overall, stay in-the-know about changes and discuss with your accountant. Ask questions and work together to ensure you are taking advantage of the tax breaks while remaining compliant.
- Set up a plan. Whether this is your first or 10th time filing your taxes, if you owe more than anticipated or just cannot get everything together to file on time, set up a plan with your accountant and file for a payment plan or extension. While extensions and payment plans have stipulations and fees, sometimes it is the best option and will ensure you are doing things the right way instead of just the “quick way.”
- Don’t panic. While we all know that paying taxes is required and a necessity to remain in business and out of trouble, don’t panic if you find yourself in an uncomfortable position. As long as you are doing what you can to calculate, file, and pay, you will be okay. If you found this tax season to be problematic or chaotic, consult with your accountant and/or a business advisor and find out what you can do in the future to plan and avoid the confusion for the years ahead.
For more on small business accounting and tax tips, read our related Neat Space blog posts and keep coming back as we share tips and tricks from small business owners, accountants, and those who are living the digital, taxpaying life!